DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Bob Bashara, a Grosse Pointe Park man called a suspect in his wife’s slaying, has been sentenced to 80 months to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to hiring a hit man to kill his former handyman.
Bashara, 55, said he was “truly and humbly sorry” for trying to have his former employee, Joseph Gentz, killed in jail. “What I did was inexcusable, and I have no one to blame but myself,” he said.
Gentz, who is considered a victim in the case, is entitled to make a victim impact statement. It was read out loud in Wayne County Circuit Court Monday morning by his attorney, Susan Reed:
“I have been telling the truth from the beginning. Bob has used me and threatened me. He told me he had friends in the Mafia and would have me killed. Bob tried to make me look bad so that no one would believe me,” Gentz said in the statement. “I was afraid for my life because Bob said he could get to me, even in jail. I went to the police, no one believed me. I am still in fear and don’t feel safe anywhere.”
Reed said someone from the court went to the jail to interview Gentz and asked him if he suffered any psychological damage as a result of Bashara’s actions. At the time, Gentz said no — but Reed said her client told her he didn’t understand what was meant by psychological damage.
Reed said that because Gentz no longer feels safe anywhere, she believes he was psychologically harmed.
Gentz, meantime, is facing murder and conspiracy charges after reportedly telling police he was hired by Bashara to kill Jane Bashara, whose body was found in her Mercedes-Benz SUV parked in an alley at a Detroit alley on Jan. 25.
WWJ Legal Analyst and Talkradio 1270 host Charlie Langton predicts that Bob Bashara will be back in court when Gentz goes to trial in that case.
“And we know this in part because Joe Gentz has been charge with the murder of Jane Bashara, but Joe Gentz is also charge with conspiracy. And conspiracy usually means at least two people,” Langton said. “Joe Gentz is one. Who could the other one be? More than likely, it’s Bob Bashara.”
Assistant prosecutor Robert Moran added to the intrigue Monday when he told the judge that Bashara wasn’t acting out of “vengeance” when he wanted Gentz dead in jail.
Bashara wanted to kill someone who is a potential witness against him, said Moran, who didn’t elaborate.
Langton predicts that Bashara will likely serve the minimum 80 months before being eligible for parole.
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